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Salazar, per cap accepted

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Submitted by Kevin C. Keckler, Chairman, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

November 6, 2012, the legal voters of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (hereinafter ÒCRSTÓ or ÒTribeÓ) voted overwhelmingly 1904 to 459 to accept a proposed settlement with the United States Department of Justice General Litigation Division in Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe v. Salazar, No,: 06-cv-00935-JR, a case brought by the Tribe against Department of Interior Secretary Salazar pursuant to federal laws that allowed Indian Tribes to sue the U.S. for mismanagement of trust assets.

The Tribe originally sought 1) a declaration from the Court that the U.S. failed to provide a meaningful general trust accounting; and 2) a mandatory injunction from the Court requiring the U.S. to provide a full and complete general accounting of tribal trust funds. In addition, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe sought money damages, with interest, against the U.S. The cases were alleged to arise out of the U. S.’ breaches and continuing breaches of the U.S.’ constitutional, statutory, regulatory, treaty, common law and other legal accounting, fiduciary, administrative and management duties owed to the Tribe to generate, invest and manage the Plaintiff’s tribal assets and property in the manner prescribed by federal law, regulation and policy.

The Tribe will receive the following from the settlement of the Salazar lawsuit:

The gross amount the Tribe will receive is $38,500,000.00

The attorneys that litigated the case got twenty percent

$ 7,700,000.00

The Tribe will pay expert witnesses fees and costs

$ 341,348.52

The net amount the Tribe will receive is $30,458,651.48

Every CRST member will get at least one thousand dollars in a per capita payment from the Tribe to be paid out of the settlement funds to all CRST Tribal Members alive on October 1, 2012 or 30 days prior to the disbursement of the per capita payment. It is said that the Tribal membership wants the entire settlement paid out as a per capita payment. That will be up to the six Tribal Districts and the Tribal Council to decide.

The Tribe’s acceptance of the proposed settlement by referendum vote was filed with Justice Department attorneys Friday, November 16, 2012. Thereafter, a consortium of attorneys lead by Gregory A. Yates, Los Angeles, California—the Tribe’s outside counsel—has informed the Tribal Council that it will take somewhere between eight to twelve (8-12) weeks after the Federal District Court enters the settlement as an order, for the United States to pay the Tribe. As soon as the Tribal Council confirms the list of its members eligible for the said per capita payment, the per capita payment will be paid to the members of the CRST.

 

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